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Case Will Move Forward After Fatal Accident

The case will move forward against the East Bernstadt man arrested and charged with murder in November 2008 after the pursuit on which he allegedly led police ended in the death of his passenger.

James Peters, 32, was indicted Friday on murder charges by a grand jury in Laurel County Circuit Court after the death of Mike Bailey, 37, also of East Bernstadt.

Deputy Richard Sapcut of the Laurel County Sheriff's Department testified at Peters' preliminary hearing that on Nov. 20, 2008 at around 2:50 a.m., two vehicles were seen leaving a known drug house near the intersection of Highway 30 and Highway 3094.

Sapcut said the vehicle driven by Peters fishtailed while turning left onto Highway 30. He attempted to follow, but another vehicle attempted to block him.

Once Sapcut got around this vehicle, he pursued Peters.

The chase, which Sapcut said lasted for approximately three miles, ended when Peters' vehicle left the road and crashed through a fence just before Proffitt Road in Laurel County.

The vehicle came to rest in a farm pasture.

Sapcut said he saw Peters throw a machete and two camouflage bags from the passenger's side window as he approached.

The bags were later found to hold three tanks believed to contain anhydrous ammonia, often used in the manufacture of methamphetamie.

Bailey was in the back seat of the vehicle, Sapcut said, and when other law enforcement officials arrived, they removed Bailey from the vehicle.

Sapcut testified Bailey died upon arrival at Saint Joseph London.

Peters' vehicle sustained heavy damage, including a piece of the fence that pierced the windshield. Sapcut said Peters displayed visible signs of impairment.

Peters was also transported to Saint Joseph London for treatment. Following his release and Bailey's death, Peters was arrested and charged with murder.

Peters was also indicted on the charges of first-degree fleeing/evading police, first-degree criminal mischief, driving under the influence, driving on a DUI suspended license, no insurance, no seat belts, resisting arrest, making an improper turn, and being second-degree persistent felony offender.

Peters is currently being held in the Laurel County Detention Center on a $250,000 cash bond.


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